W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org > June 1997

Re: Parameter entities vs. GI name groups

From: Murray Altheim <altheim@mehitabel.Eng.Sun.COM>
Date: Fri, 20 Jun 1997 11:35:25 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <199706201835.LAA19821@mehitabel.eng.sun.com>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
Terry Allen <tallen@sonic.net> writes:
[a better-written reply than the message I was writing...]
> Executive summary:  parameter entities are a dividing line,
> watershed, shibboleth.  Dump them and you go one way, retain
> them and you go another.  Whatever gets deployed we will cope
> with; that's our business; if you want to make XML cheap you
> need to make it capable of standing on its own without an
> SGML shop behind the curtain.

As an author and maintainer of DTDs, both modular and flat, it's
really hard for me to imagine using XML with PE-less DTDs. Removing
parameter entities would relegate XML completely to a down-translation
language, where I'd author and validate all but the simplest DTDs in
SGML. I wouldn't even begin to consider DocBook, TEI or even HTML
without PEs. It would make them almost impossible to manage, too much
work, and if I must spend my time with a DTD, I'd spend it in SGML.

I think we should follow the spirit of the rest of XML and simply
constrain PEs to a reasonable functionality for XML; elimination 
seems like an enormous mistake unless we want to turn the corner
away from complex, valid documents authored and maintained in XML.

Executive summary: A strong vote against PE removal from someone
who does a fair amount of DTD work.


Murray Altheim, SGML Grease Monkey                  <altheim[@]eng.sun.com>
Member of Technical Staff, Tools Development & Support
Sun Microsystems, 2550 Garcia Ave., MS UMPK17-102, Menlo Park, CA 94043 USA
         "Give a monkey the tools and he'll build a typewriter."
Received on Friday, 20 June 1997 14:36:22 UTC

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